India for cautious approach on talks with Taliban

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 10:58

Washington: India has sought a cautious
approach on the US-backed peace talks with the Taliban,
warning against a victory for the "dark forces of terrorism"
if such negotiations are put on a fast track.

"While we agree that ultimately there would have to be
political solution, we also believe that this should not
become an over-riding objective that needs to be achieved at
all costs for that would risk the prospect of the victory of
the dark forces of terrorism and extremism that have plagued
the region for long," Indian Ambassador to the US, Nirupama
Rao has said.

India has been "fully supportive of US efforts to fight
terrorism in Afghanistan and to bring stability there.
In this regard we are keenly watching recent efforts for a
political dialogue," Rao said.

"Let us not wait for the dusk and the owl of Minerva to
spread its wings, with awareness coming too late. Too much is
at stake both for Afghanistan, and for our region in what
happens in that country," Rao said.

Rao said both India and the US understand the imperative
of ensuring success in Afghanistan. "We have been engaged in
developmental assistance efforts in Afghanistan at
considerable human and economic cost," she said. Rao said
India`s vision of Afghanistan is that it should become a
stable peaceful and a very strong democratic country.

"It`s a very diverse and pluralistic society like India.
How do you cohere all the different ethnic groups and interest
together. That`s the challenge," she said.

Rao said India is closely watching the peace talks with
the Taliban.

The top Indian diplomat in the US was delivering key
note address at the Seminar "India as a Global Power:
Contending Views from India" jointly organized by the Center
for a New American Security, in partnership with The George
Washington University`s Rising Powers Initiative.

"Now the dialogue that has been launched with the
Taliban, we have to see where that goes. But our vision for
Afghanistan is that the progress that has been made in the
last decade and a little more than that should not be turned
back. The benefits that have accrued to women and children
particularly should not be diminished in any way."

India`s total assistance totaling to Afghanistan so far
has been over USD 2 billion, which she said has been guided by
the priorities of the Afghan government and people.

"We are in fact supplementing our individual assistance
efforts with joint projects with the US in areas such as in
capacity building, agriculture and women`s empowerment in
Afghanistan," she said.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 10:58

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